Storm Gareth: Winds to keep picking up speed across NI

Stormy weather
Stormy weather

Winds from Storm Gareth are expected to keep picking up speed until after midnight tonight, the Met Office has said.

Northern Ireland has been “battered” by the storm already today with windspeeds hitting as high as 63mph.

There has been travel disruption and power cuts across Northern Ireland.

And forecasters are warning there could be more extreme weather to come.

Met Office Meteorologist Helen Roberts, speaking to the News Letter shortly before 7pm, said: “There was a gust at Orlock Head in Co Down of 63mph and Ballypatrick in Co Antrim of 60mph. Those are the highest in Northern Ireland.”
She added: “Those are the highest we’ve seen so far but there is more to come. It is going to remain pretty windy overnight and into the first part of tomorrow.”

The Met Office meteorlogist continued: “We could continue to see gusts with those sorts of figures over the next few hours or so.

“I think we’ll probably see the wind peaking shortly after midnight and it will still be very windy through the early hours and, in fact, during the morning commute.

“But the winds will, very gradually, start to ease as the day progresses until there is a slightly more noticable reduction tomorrow afternoon.”

Gusts of 56mph were also recorded at Magilligan in Co Londonderry, and 53mph in Castlederg, Co Tyrone.

There were large waves in coastal areas, while the Coastguard has warned people to avoid exposed areas.

Hundreds of customers were left without electricity due to damage caused to the network by what NIE Networks described as “severe weather conditions”.

Two separate power cuts in the south of Co Londonderry, near Maghera, left over 500 customers without electricity.

There were also power cuts in Larne, Londonderry, Gortin in Co Tyrone and a number of locations in Co Fermanagh.

Speed restrictions have also been put in place at the Foyle Bridge in Londonderry, while a number of ferry services between Ireland and Great Britain were cancelled.